Pennsylvania Bill Would Prevent Doctors from Refusing to Treat Unvaccinated Patients

Pennsylvania Bill Would Prevent Doctors from Refusing to Treat Unvaccinated Patients

Legislation proposed in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly would prevent doctors and health care facilities from discriminating against unvaccinated patients. Doctors would be required to treat unvaccinated families in their practice, limit tactics used to place pressure on patients to use vaccines and prevent medical staff from requiring parents or guardians to sign a liability waiver if they decline or delay one or more federally recommended vaccines.1 2

The bill would also protect doctors from being penalized by health insurance companies for providing health care to unvaccinated patients and prevent child protective services employees from instigating a neglect investigation of parents solely based on a parent’s choice to delay or decline vaccines.

House Bill 286, also known as the Informed Consent Protection Act, would “support parents in obtaining fair and equal access to medical treatment for their children regardless of their child’s vaccination status.”3

The bill’s primary sponsor is Representative Daryl Metcalfe. Co-sponsors include Rep. Jim Cox, Rep. Dawn Keefer, Rep. Russ Diamond, Rep. Rich Irvin, Rep. Lee James and Rep. Rob Kauffman.1

“We live in the United States of America where you should have the freedom to decide what is injected inside your body or your child’s body. It’s a parent’s right to make that decision for their child. Our children do not belong to the state. This is not communist Russia. This is the United States of America,” Rep. Metcalfe said.2

According to the bill, “A health care practitioner or a health care facility may not discriminate against a patient or parent or guardian of a patient based solely upon a patient or parent or guardian of a patient choosing to delay or decline a vaccination. Exercising the right to informed consent by delaying or declining vaccinations under this act may not be the reason for a patient or family member of a patient to be dismissed from a practice or lose medical privileges or benefits.”4

HB 286 also bars insurance companies from penalizing doctors with low vaccination rates. It states, “An insurer shall not deny a health care practitioner’s participation in an insurance plan or decrease the practitioner’s reimbursements through fines or financial penalties due to low patient vaccination rates or due to a practitioner’s decision not to vaccinate a patient.”4

Additionally, the bill prohibits investigations by child protective services should parents choose to delay or decline vaccination for their child. The bill states, “Child protective services shall not initiate an investigation against a parent or guardian for the sole reason of a parent or guardian choosing to delay or decline a vaccination for a child of the parent or guardian under this act.”4

The idea for HB 286 comes at a time when an increasing number of pediatric practices throughout the United States are refusing to provide services to families who do not strictly follow the childhood vaccine schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This trend coincides with new guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that it is acceptable for pediatricians to dismiss families who refuse vaccines recommended by the AAP and the CDC.5 6


13 Responses to "Pennsylvania Bill Would Prevent Doctors from Refusing to Treat Unvaccinated Patients"

  1. Dani   May 23, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I guess legislation in this regard is a start BUT knowing how I’ve been treated in the past by doctors because I refused/limited vaccinations for myself and my children, I don’t see their attitude really changing. Sure, they may have to comply with the law but I’d expect the same amount of hostility I’ve experienced in the past.

    • Eric H.   May 24, 2019 at 8:56 am

      The vaccine manufacturers via the insurance companies create a huge financial incentive for doctors to insist on full vaccination and to exclude unvaccinated patients from their practices. Remove the financial incentive and I think you’ll see physician’s attitudes change as well. I believe that most pediatricians are actually good people who believe in freedom of medical choice and not in medical tyranny.

  2. Kathleen Egbert   May 23, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    I hope it passes. The obvious next step is to require all adults to be fully vaccinated with every vaccine available.

  3. Kimberly   May 23, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Sadly, this will never pass…

    • Shari Jackson   May 24, 2019 at 6:39 am

      Let’s make this pass! Call your legislators and ask them to support this bill. Talk about it with your friends and family.

  4. Debbie Catz   May 23, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Hooray! Hope this begins to spread to other states….especially California!

  5. Mikki   May 23, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I am an RN and have witnessed quite a few adverse vaccine reactions….some resulting in permanent disability. I think that medications, including vaccines, should have informed consent. The decision to vaccinate should be made between the doctor and the patient (parent). I am not opposed to vaccines, but I do not think it is a one size fit all. Also, I feel that we are losing our constitutional freedom of choice if we have mandated vaccines.

  6. Pam Morris   May 23, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    I was dismissed by two pediatricians in the 80’s for this reason until I finally found one who would at least listen to my reasons for refusing to vaccinate my five children.She would give me her side PRO vaccines and I would give her my researched reasons for CON. She let me make the choice. She did not dismiss me. We were both respectful. Interesting that most liberals are all for government regulations (lack of parental choice) for vaccines but when it comes to abortion they want the Government to back off. They want choice. Hmmm.
    Looking back, it was a small price to pay for something I knew was harmful to my children. I read DPT, A Shot in the Dark, in 1986 and never looked back.

  7. Marene Mayer   May 23, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Good for PA……….I really hope this Passes. I never had a problem getting a Pediatrician to see my son……..when he was not Vaccinated back in the 70’s, 80’s, etc. I refused to Vaccinate him after Severe Reactions to the Vaccines he received in 1975. He even went thru College with No Problems in the 90’s. Yes, Pam………A Shot in the Dark was one of the Best. When you see a child who is totally Normal……….and then is not……….after Vaccines……….it doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out. Back when………children were not supposed to be Vaccinated if they were ill ……..even a cold……….now they do it all the time. I have so much sympathy for Parents today……..they are intimidated and Threaten……….it’s just not right.

  8. Joy   May 23, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    How wonderful to see Pennsylvania, a state with very restrictive laws overall (hard to believe it’s the “Cradle of Liberty” when you see how regulated everything in Pennsylvania is) actually standing up for patients’ rights! And how ironic that Maine, a state where organic is so common, live and let live is the rule, is now awaiting the governor’s signature on the most egregious mandatory vaccine bill in the country, making California’s law look like a walk in the park.

    One can only hope that the outcry against forced vaccinations will bring down the house.

    • Charles   May 27, 2019 at 7:53 am

      The practice is to intimidate you to volunteer. If a state passes any ‘mandatory’ vaccination bill, read the language. Can they legislate away informed consent? Make a counteroffer.

      “Sure, I’ll vaccinate, just sign here, stating that you will assume unlimited liability for any resultant adverse reaction up to and including death.”

      Watch them scatter.

  9. Darcey Bolognone   May 23, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    I was ousted by my pediatrician when I had 3 children seen in their practice but once they gave my oldest vaccines without my consent knowing that he had a medical exemption now they dismissed all my children -the baby was only 3 and now is 6! We found a way more qualified doctor – seek out physicians that won’t take the risks!!!

  10. rachel   May 28, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Lets contact our legislators and let them know we support the right to choose, to choose freedom, to choose democracy, to choose to support the bill of rights and the constitution.
    I am calling each of these intelligent aware PA. representatives who are working for the
    good for all citizens of PA. and thanking them for doing so. The State of Texas has 3 lawmakers proposing three separate bills to support vaccine choices for everyone. We must join together and work for democracy and health freedom. MY body MY choice. namaste’, rachel


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